Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vienna Bread & Kaiser Rolls

The Bread Baking Babes are baking Vienna Bread and Kaiser Rolls in August 2011. We love Kaiser Rolls and especially the ones with Dutch Crust or as the Dutch say; ‘Tijgerbolletjes’. Lovely rolls with a crusty crust and they look great. 
Many memories come when we have these on the table. Because the last time we ate them was more than five years ago in the Netherlands. Peter loved to eat them with corned beef and I loved them with fresh strawberries, but home made peanut butter is always good.     
I tried the Vienna rolls as shown by Astrid of Paulchen’s Blog, host for this months BBB.
But as much as I tried, I couldn’t shape them into Kaisers rolls. Eventually they looked funny, but not like Kaisers rolls. So I went for Dutch Crust. Finally I could bake ‘Tijgerbroodjes’. 

I baked them two times, and I already  know there will be more times. The first batch tasted delicious. A nice roll with a bit of crusty crust and a very nice soft crumb. But, I wasn't happy with the crusty crust and had to make them again. The crust became softer after the rolls cooled down. At first I had no idea what  caused this. And then it came to me. We are in the middle of the rainy season and the humidity is very high. Soon after the rolls cooled enough the humidity found the rolls too. The second batch was much better. The same delicious crumb and this time also good looking and crusty rolls. We ate them while they just cooled enough; great crust! 
Even though the weather is causing softer crust, I keep on baking. Today I even baked a Tartine for my discovery of .....  Soon I will post my experiences. I've baked some different Tartines already.  This time I used my ceramic pan  for the first time and what a beautiful bread came out!   

Friday, August 19, 2011

BIALY with Onion Garlic

Bread Baking Day #43 is coming up and I am wondering what the theme for this month will be. Judy of Judy’s Gross Eats choose Onion Bread. We’re lucky because we love onion. All year round we have onions in the house, together with garlic of course.

On my list of ‘to bake breads’ is a bialy. It looks nice and I’m always curious about discovering new breads. With the dough you can make Bialy and also Bagels. We have not much experience with Bagels. We like chewy but not too dense crumb.
When the Bialy came out of the oven they look real nice. I baked the onion and garlic with a little bit of apple vinegar, so it had a light brown color and baking it in the oven gave it even more color. But, it is not burned! The smell is nice and the taste is good.  Even though I used the prescribed amount of salt, it could use more salt for our taste. I followed a recipe for Kalamata olive Bialy made by Sally. I left the olives out of the dough and probably missed out on the extra flavor. The Bialy is chewy and dense. They are as they probably should be, like a Bagel. The original recipe is by Dan Lepard.

Pull apart bread with candied pomelo

I was intrigued by pull apart bread. Lately I saw some nice ones. Pull apart bread looks like a party bread, a bread for sharing, for eating with friends; a happy bread.

I found a recipe at Yumarama. Paul had made two versions, one with cinnamon sugar and one with lemon zest. He was very content with the zesty one. I still had candied pomelo. We love the combination of sweet bread with the tangy taste of pomelo. The color is fun too.

It’s nice dough to work with. I followed the recipe to the point of the filling. Paul used 226 grams of sugar and this was too much for me. I looked at a few conversion sites and 1 cup of granulated sugar went from 191 grams to 230 grams (?) Still this was so much sugar, I simply couldn’t pour more than about 125 grams. It’s confusing for me, because there are so many cups to work with.

Because the bread pan couldn’t hold all the dough I used a small cake pan and filled this with the remaining stack of dough. The small bread looks like a flower, don’t you think so. As I thought before: pull apart bread is delicious and fun to eat.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dutch Regale’s Finnish Rye

Peter, my husband, loves to eat Friesian Dark Rye with old cheese. But we can't find this over here. Every time we visit our family in Holland he enjoys it at breakfast. 

A while back we found pumpernickel and rye flour and a recipe to make this Friesian Dark Rye, but it needs around 12 – 24 hours in the oven. This would make it very expensive bread. The pumpernickel stayed in the plastic container and waited for a new chance to come out.

This week I found it at the Fresh Loaf. Alan baked a beautiful Dutch Regales’ Finnish Rye from Maggie Glezer's Artisan Baking Across America. It looks like a normal dark brown bread; very tasty. I asked if it's sour and Alan said: ‘it was not sour at all; in fact there is a subtle sweetness’. It is baked as normal bread. So it was time for the pumpernickel to come out. 

And how happy we were when we tasted this delicious bread. It’s moist, in a good way, and very tasteful. If you have 2 slices of this bread you’ll be full. That’s good when you want to loose some weight and still eat the good things live brings. I bake a lot of sourdough bread with a bit of rye and was concerned if the taste of rye wouldn’t be too much. Strange thought when you want to bake an almost 100% rye bread. Oke, but I did bake it and we love it.

I changed a few things. I didn’t have flax seeds and used 7-grains instead. The original recipe calls for whole wheat flour and whole rye flour; I used less whole wheat flour and all purpose flour. And finally I replaced the molasses with 5% of my favorite roasted malt. 

Pain aux Cereales by Eric Kayser

While the Dutch Regale’s Finnish Rye proofed , I looked at The Fresh Loaf for some inspiration. There were people raving about Pain aux Cereals made by Eric Kayser. I was intrigued and had a look at the website of Kayser. There are some nice recipes I will make one day.

I had to know why people call this “the best bread in the world”. I don’t know about "the best" of anything. Everything is relative and subjective. Of course we can talk about what is ‘good’ and what is ‘good looking’ and what is … And maybe most people agree on this, but it is still a personal judgement and that will change in time. I can talk about my “best tasting and best looking bread”. And this also changes, like everything changes.

Anyway, I can’t bake this bread like Kayser has baked it. There are some ingredients not the same. So, is it even the same bread? Even Don decided to formulate his own interpretation of Kayser's Pain aux Cereales based on his compilation of information gathered on the internet and relying loosely on the recipe in his book. And I’m using the information Don provides. But, I don’t care. I bake with what’s available (ingredients, equipment, weather and other unforeseen influences) and accept the result.

The result for us is: a good looking and very tasteful bread. The seeds gave it a nice flavor and a bit of nutty taste. I baked 2 loaves and the first one was gone before I could take a nice crumb shot and the other one went into the fridge for next time. But, I can tell the crumb looked nice with some big holes, although it didn't have the biggest holes I hoped for, yet. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sourdough Whole Wheat Ciabatta

I found these deliciously looking Ciabatta at applepiepatispateI made ciabatta before and thought of the remark of Jeffrey Hamelman; this requires some special handling (like locking all the doors so the bakers can’t run for the exits)….”.
The first ones looked like thick pancakes and the last ones were good; they looked like ciabatta. I like to get more experience on working with wet dough and Kayser’s ciabatta look great, maybe these will work for me. They did! I don’t know what the secret is, but this is a great recipe. It’s an easie recipe and has a nice moist crumb. My constant challenge is getting crumb with bigger holes, but in the mean time this is great. I’ve learned already to handle the dough gentle, this is essential to get the characteristic irregular holes and open crumb of ciabatta.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Like every week I can’t wait to see the submissions on Yeastspotting. They are inspiring, even though my long list of “bread to bake” is growing. But, I’m patient and a week has 7 days; so, I can bake a lot. And we love bread.

This week I saw the tasteful looking crackers made by Julia @ Mélanger. While I was waiting for my sourdough starter to grow enough I made these delicious crackers. This was the first time I baked them, but certainly not the last time. We loved them. I had to put them in a plastic container before Peter ate them all.

I played a bit with the toppings, some with black sesame seeds, some with sea salt, some with dried rosemary and for the the rest I mixed the toppings. We liked them all. Peter suggested for next time to make some bigger ones without topping so we can eat them with our home made peanut butter of jam; good idea.